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25 December 2017



Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan visualizes Block Resource Centres/Urban Resource Centres/Cluster
Resource Centres to provide academic support to schools on a continuous basis through teacher
training, monthly meetings for academic consultations, etc. These sub-district academic support
institutions are expected to work in close collaboration with DIETs to render support to schools to
improve the quality of elementary education.
Several studies, including an independent study commissioned by MHRD to ascertain the effectiveness
of BRCs and CRCs in discharging their designated functions and responsibilities have observed that
these institutions are by and large working sub-optimally and have limited or no impact in improving
academic performance in primary and upper primary schools. The expected duties and responsibilities
of the functionaries are based on the overall framework of implementation, There are however wide
variations in the frequency of school visits on account of the administrative activities with the BEO
and other officials at block/district levels, vast geographical area of operation without adequate
transport facility, large coverage of schools and other institutions in the block. This has resulted in
poor monitoring and supervision, especially in areas of teacher training and on-site-support. Further,
the centres themselves lack infrastructure and resources.
Towards this, it was felt that a set of operational guidelines may support the states to strengthen these
resource centres. A Committee with the following members was proposed:
Smt. Neelam Rao, Director (EE-II) – Chairperson
Dr. Padma Sarangapani, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
Mr. Gajanan Patil, Principal DIET, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra
Ms. B. H. Girija, Programme Officer, SSA, Karnataka
Mr. Valand, State Coordinator for Teacher’s Training, SSA, Gujarat
Mr. Tilakraj, District Coordinator for Teacher’s Training DIET, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
Mr. Ajay Kumar Singh, Chief Consultant, TSG – Convener
The Terms of Reference for the Committee were:
(a) Develop indicative guidelines for strengthening of Block and Cluster Resource Centres guidelines.
These will cover the following:
i. Objective and scope of work of such resource centres.
ii. Location, coverage and geographical area and process of setting up of resource centres.
iii. Manpower required at resource centres – their roles, job profiles, qualifications and selection
iv. Professional development and training needs of block/cluster resource coordinators, particularly
in the context of BRC/CRC providing training and on site academic support to teachers.
v. Strengthening MIS for skills for teacher professional development at block/cluster level and its
forward linkages.
vi. Building sub district level resource network by forging linkages with resource persons,
civil society and community.
vii. Infrastructure and facilities that should be available in the resource centre.
viii. Augmenting current set of resources – making choices on civil works, utilization of
current spaces.
ix. Providing academic and administrative support to resource centres through DIETs.
x. Development of Key Resource Person at District/State Block Level for providing academic
support to BRC/CRC – strategies and approaches.
The CRP and BRP job profiles in all states are
ambitious lists of expectations. Overall there seems
to be either a lack of vision or too many expectations
and aims for these institutions to achieve. In many
states a high degree of ad-hocism pervades their
work. Imbalance between administrative and
academic work, low level to which the skills of
CRPs are utilised and their low participation in
decision making are common. A recent study of
the BRP and CRPs suggests that many of them
are dissatisfied with their job or the level of
autonomy and flexibility that is permitted at their
level. The conditions of work many a times are
also not satisfactory. Physical facilities are far
from satisfactory.
They deal with unrealistic range of expectations
and lack focus and integration into overall vision
of school improvement. This seems to be a key
reason for their inability to contribute in ways that
visibly impact the system. They are very busy in
work, yet this is not cumulative in terms of results.
Tasks that look similar require time to be invested
in planning, coordination and organization.
BRCs conduct trainings and keep track of the
total number of days of training achieved. It is
usually expected that CRPs will do follow up of
the trainings to ensure that they are implemented.
Monthly meetings of teachers for the purpose of
discussions are also required to nurture peer
group based interactions and finding solutions.
However it is now widely acknowledged that there
is ‘training fatigue’ among teachers who find
trainings are often of poor quality, lack relevance
to their work, and are conducted without
adequate scheduling. Access to resources is also
a limitation. Maintaining data relating to training
has been evolved by individual blocks.
❑ Training quality This is often compromised
for a number of reasons: (1) good Master
Resource Persons (MRPs) are not adequate.
MRPs also do not get time before and after
training to invest in discussions of design and
conduct. Cascade trainings thus become
routinised events with no connection between
sessions. Expertise for school subjects of class
IV upwards is also not easily available.
(2) Advanced planning of trainings: is not
achieved adequately in many states as fund
flow is irregular. (3) Selection of teachers: is
not based on any assessment of who requires
what training. Either the selection of teachers
is completely arbitrary, or the approach of
same for everyone is followed. (4) Training
content is limited and repetitive. (5) Other
forms of teacher professional development
such as exposure visits, attending seminars,
participating as trainers are not considered
as professional development.The mandate of the BRC-CRC institutions is
school support and supervision. This mandate
developed initially, through DPEP interventions.
The scope of concerns has widened in the last
15 years. First academic interests have widened
and now include all grades up to elementary
school and all subject areas. Secondly, the
framework of school improvement and
transformation has also widened and there are
now more elaborate and detailed roles for
community, investments on infrastructure, equity
and out-of-children’s school enrolment, retention
and remedial education, as well as a wider
emphasis on quality of school including the
oversight of educational achievements of
children. The government schooling system is
on the whole far more in the public eye and there
are many groups involved and interested in
contributing to school improvement. After RtE,
there are greater requirements of systemic
oversight of elementary schools.
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